The Imperial Hotel in Dundalk, Co. Louth will become the epicentre of football kits in Ireland on Saturday, July 2 as collectors, vendors and enthusiasts converge for the first edition of Kit Con Éire.
The brain-child of Paul Behan of Football Kit Box, the event features spectacular displays of football shirts, retro and new, from all over the world.
Eddie of O’Mahony of Ireland Soccer Shirts will be the main attraction, with his exhibition of iconic shirts from some of Ireland’s most famous matches, while some of the leading vendors from Ireland and the UK will also be in attendance along with representation from League of Ireland clubs.
Panel discussions and presentations featuring contributions from the likes of Barry Rojack and The Kitsman are also sure to engage attendees, while Aodhán Ó Riordáin and Gary Cooke bring their renowned walking football tour to Dundalk. Tickets cost €12 and the price includes entry fee, walking tour, entry to kit discussions and a raffle ticket.
We spoke to the main organiser Paul about the background to his site and the conference.
When and how did the idea for FKB come about?
I was looking for something fresh and innovative when I was branching out on my own venture. Having been in sales for ten years, I was looking for a product with that wow factor. The shirts were the wow and the subscription model was the innovation as nobody else was doing it at the time.
What was your background in kits prior to that – was it as a collector/enthusiast or were you in the industry?
I have always been an admirer of shirts and still have some from my childhood….I only ramped up my own collecting when I started FKB!
What were the origins of Kit Con Éire?
The online kit community in Ireland had been growing steadily over last years and what started as a meet-up snowballed when people started to get excited about it. I’ve attempted to make it as broadly appealing to as many types of kitsters as possible and I’m confident it can grow even bigger for next year.
How much goes into organising such a venture?
Calls, messages, emails and a lot of perspiration! But it’s a labour of love so I don’t mind too much!
And finally, why do you think collecting has become so popular?
The retro style is in fashion at the moment and I think that’s a huge contributor. Kit collecting only really became a thing in the 1990s as replicas were only then becoming widely available – those 90s kids have come of age now and their nostalgia is driving interest also.
Also, during the lockdown/pandemic, some people sought positives to latch on to and one person’s banana bread was another’s bruised banana!
We wish Paul and everybody else organising and attending the very best of luck. See @kitconeire for more.